Online Research Resources

As with any topic, there are many helpful sources of information about conducting online research on the Internet. Do your own search on "conducting online research."

Here are a few resources to boost your confidence in locating quality research sources:

Use a Scholarly Search Engine

Some search engines index and cite only journals and scholarly research articles from well-regarded sources.

  • Google Scholar is indexed to journal and research sources

  • Scirus is indexed to scientific journals, government organizations, and research institutions

  • PLOS or the Public Library of Science is a non-profit group that makes scientific articles and papers publicly available

  • RefSeek is a web search engine that aims to make academic information easily accessible to everyone

  • The United States Library of Congress is a huge collection and good place to get started in searching for well-sourced information

Distinguishing Scholarly Journals from Other Periodicals

Many journals, newspapers, and magazines are available online. Cornell University librarians provide tips for selecting scholarly articles and substantive news articles in these two 90-second videos:

How to Identify Scholarly Journal Articles


How to Identify Substantive News Articles


Using Primary Sources on the Web

Many original historical documents – including maps, photos, letters, out-of-print books – have been digitized and placed on the Internet. This short guide from the American Library Association provides strategies for authenticating copies of originals:

ALA Reference and User Services Association: Using Primary Sources on the Web